Aphasia after stroke: Regaining communication skills with speech-language therapy

After a stroke, depending on the area of the brain affected, various communication problems may occur, including creating sentences, using incorrect words, repeating words or sentences, misunderstanding others, inability to read and write, or slurred speech.  Aphasia is the term given to problems with language expression or comprehension. In this video, Dr. Wes Oczkowski discusses the importance of speech-language therapy to help regain language after a stroke.


Learn the answers to the following questions: 

  • 2:03 - How do strokes affect communication?
  • 3:13 - What are the treatment approaches for communication challenges after a stroke?
  • 6:00 - What professionals are involved in an assessment?
  • 8:40 - What does a speech-language therapist do?
  • 13:26 - Does research support speech-language therapy as a post-stroke communication recovery tool? 

Meet Jason and his father and find out what Dr. Oczkowski recommended for them.

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  1. McMaster Optimal Aging Portal. Regaining language skills after a stroke: Will speech therapy help? (2017 Jun 6). Accessed March 7, 2022. Available from: https://www.mcmasteroptimalaging.org/blog/detail/blog/2017/06/26/regaining-language-skills-after-a-stroke-will-speech-therapy-help
  2. Engelter ST, Gostynski M, Papa S, et al. Epidemiology of aphasia attributable to first ischemic stroke: incidence, severity, fluency, etiology, and thrombolysis. Stroke. 2006 Jun;37(6):1379-84.
  3. Brady MC, Kelly H, Godwin J, Enderby P, Campbell P. Speech and language therapy for aphasia following stroke. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Jun 1;2016(6):CD000425.
  4. Brady MC, Ali M, VandenBerg K, et al. RELEASE: A protocol for a systematic review based individual participant data meta- and network meta-analysis of complex speech-language therapy interventions for stroke-related aphasia. Aphasiology. 2020;34(2):137-157.
  5. Nouwens F, Vish-Brink EG, Van de Sanft-Koenderman MME, et al. Optimal timing of speech and language therapy for aphasia after stroke: More evidence needed. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. 2015;15(8):885-893.
  6. UpToDate. Aphasia: Prognosis and treatment. (2022 Mar). Accessed March 7, 2022. Available from: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/aphasia-prognosis-and-treatment?search=aphasia&source=search_result&selectedTitle=2~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=2
  7. Heart & Stroke Foundation. (Dis)connected: How unseen links are putting us at risk? (2019). Accessed March 7, 2022. Available from: https://www.heartandstroke.ca/-/media/pdf-files/canada/2019-report/heartandstrokereport2019.ashx


This work is supported through the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging and funds provided by the Dean and Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.

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